Invariably when a government agency head or elected official makes a mistake he says, “I take full responsibility.” What he doesn’t do is resign or pay a fine and most certainly does not go to jail. So what does “taking responsibility” mean? It really means I apologize for my errors and hope not to be caught again.
The problems started after the push of a button, a toast with Flint River water and a budget forecast of saving $5 million that had to be tempting for a city in the midst of a financial emergency.
Despite the complaints that the water appeared dirty and had a peculiar odor and taste Flint, Michigan continued pumping water from the river.
The consequence is lead poisoned water that can result in brain damage to children and possible early death. The financial cost to replace the ruined piping is estimated at $75 million.
Porter Ranch residents suffering from headaches, nausea and other symptoms from a natural gas leak that has displaced thousands are assigning blame to a damaged well in the Santa Susana Mountains north of Los Angeles. Some government agencies are questioning the claims that although some people have experienced some problems there will be no long term effects.
This reminds me of the high school built on an abandoned oil field in Los Angeles. The abandonment of that project took major community involvement. Or the Virginia communities that were impacted by the Dan River spill of coal ash in February 2014.
Is there any evidence that government and business officials can be trusted to provide honest information about health issues?
The answer is an emphatic NO.